Stand-in captain Smith savours rare Australian win in India

Smith said Test victory in India, their second win in 18 attempts, particularly after losing the toss shows the talent in this group and the belief they have got in themselves

Published : 3 March 2023, 09:48 AM
Updated : 3 March 2023, 09:48 AM

Steve Smith knows how difficult it is to win a Test in India so Australia's stand-in captain was thrilled to bits after guiding his team to a nine-wicket victory in the third Test in Indore on Friday.

Outplayed in Nagpur and Delhi, Australia bounced back in the four-Test series with a comprehensive victory well inside three days of the spin-dominated low-scoring contest.

Leading the side as regular skipper Pat Cummins flew home to be with his ailing mother, Smith marshalled his bowlers well and took a stunning catch to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara whose second innings 59 was the only half-century by an Indian in the low-scoring match.

"They are pretty hard to come by," Smith told reporters, referring to wins in India, after only the second Australia has notched up in their last 18 attempts.

"For us to get on top in this game, particularly after losing the toss ... it shows the talent in this group and the belief we've got in ourselves."

Australia fought tooth and nail in Delhi only to be thwarted by India's lower order, who set up India's six-wicket victory.

"We screwed up, I suppose, in Delhi is one way to put it," Smith said.

"We had an opportunity there and let that slip, but we had a good break and a good preparation coming here and it was just about getting our mental state right."

Smith captained Australia during the 2014-2018 period but was stripped of the role following a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Cummins is expected to return before the final Test next week but chances are Smith may continue to lead the side in the final Test in Ahmedabad next week.

"India is a part of the world I love captaining ... it's probably my favourite place in the world to captain," the 33-year-old said.

"Every ball is an event and therefore can dictate what happens after, which is something that I really love and you've got to be ahead of the game.

"So I thought I did it well this week and it was good fun."